When you’re selling prints and digital photography online, it can be difficult to find customers. Even if you do manage to get your work seen, it’s not always easy to encourage people to pay for the actual product.
For that reason, you might want to consider starting an affiliate program. Fans of your work can showcase it on their blogs, and include affiliate links back to your own website. This will enable you to expand your audience, and will help you earn more money from your photography along the way.
In this article, we’ll discuss three reasons photographers in particular can benefit from running an affiliate program. We’ll also explain how you can get started with the use of Easy Affiliate!
An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a smart way for any business, big or small, to expand its potential audience and increase its income. So, how does this type of marketing work?
When you run an affiliate program, you offer a commission for referrals back to your products. People can sign up for your program and become your affiliate marketers, or just ‘affiliates' for short. Whenever an affiliate gets a lead to click on a link to one of your products, and that lead ends up buying something from you, the affiliate receives a small cut of the profits (while you keep the rest).
For a photography business, an affiliate program can be helpful by turning exposure of your works into revenue. With the provided affiliate links, members can showcase your work on their blogs, social media profiles, or online galleries. They get to earn a small profit as a result, while you get your images seen by a larger audience that's suitable for your niche.
3 Reasons You Should Start an Affiliate Program for Your Photography Business
Now that you're caught up on the basics of affiliate marketing, let's look more closely at how your photography business can benefit from one of these programs. While there are a lot of reasons an affiliate program is a smart move, these are three of the most compelling.
1. You Can Leverage Your Existing Audience to Increase Sales
If you've been in the business for a while, you probably already have some existing fans of your work. These might include prior customers you've done commissions for, collaborators, or simply people who enjoy your photography. What matters is that this audience is a well of potential affiliate marketers.
Your first port of call when setting up a new program will be to reach out to these people, and see if they are willing to join up. They can then showcase your work on their websites, along with affiliate links that navigate visitors to your online storefront. Some of them might even have their own blogs or affiliate marketing sites already set up, making this process even simpler.
Plus, you can make it easy for affiliates to sign up by using the right tool – such as our own Easy Affiliate plugin. This will help you create an affiliate dashboard, where you can provide affiliates with links and other useful resources.
2. You Can Expand Your Audience and Reduce Theft
Affiliates are encouraged to spread your works as much as possible, whether that's on blogs, websites, or social media. This means your photography and business get more visibility.
What's more, as someone who offers photography online, you may have already had your work being spread without proper credit, or even stolen. This is a common problem, but using an affiliate program can actually mitigate it. By providing affiliate links, you incentivize your audience to not only credit you for your work, but to do so in a way that actively supports you. In other words, you can have your photography seen by a larger audience, while also reaping better profits.
When you're running your program using Easy Affiliate, you can even determine exactly what commission you want to pay your affiliates. If you want, you can also create commission tiers to support different levels of affiliates. This is a great way to incentivize them to get invested in your business, and to do their best to get your work out there.
3. You Can Become More Established in Your Niche
As a photography business, you probably already have a niche. To really focus your efforts, however, you can dig even deeper. For example, you can choose to work with art photography, wedding and events photography, photo-manipulation, or something else just as specific.
Getting clear about your ideal niche matters, because finding affiliates within the same narrow field enables you to target an audience that's inherently receptive to your work. By creating an affiliate program and targeting it carefully, you stand to gain more prominence and become more established in your niche. You can even reach out directly to related bloggers and other influencers, and encourage them to join your program.
If you're really dedicated, you could even form a partnership with another business and support each others' affiliate programs. This kind of symbiotic partnership could help grow both of your brands in terms of visibility and credibility.
It may seem daunting to create an affiliate program for your photography business. However, the advantages are well worth the time investment. What’s more, Easy Affiliate makes the process easy, as it enables you to set up a program quickly and with minimal fuss. That gives you the chance to focus on your creative work, while still growing your audience and increasing sales.
In this article, we’ve discussed some of the reasons your photography business can benefit from an affiliate program. For example, affiliate marketing helps you:
- Leverage your existing fans to increase sales.
- Expand your audience and reduce theft.
- Become more established in your niche.
Do you have any questions about how to set up an affiliate program for your photography business? Let us know in the comments section below!